günther selichar

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screens, cold

Screens, cold 1997/2003

Installation Kunsthalle Wien Project Space/Kupferstichkabinett der Akademie der Bildenden Künste (A) 2001

Photo: Gerhard Koller/Kunsthalle Wien


Marie Röbl

The work series "Screens, cold" also shifts an element of media technique into the field of focus, which normally eludes attention, because it usually remains concentrated on the subject matter conveyed: monitors and displays that are turned off, in other words empty image and information containers, so to speak. They stem from the most diverse groups of apparatuses (TV and computer screens, measuring devices, cell phone displays, etc.), whereby the encasement components appear only as a narrow edge in Selichar's picture segments - and the "cold screens" also function as pictures for this reason, showing only themselves, their proportion, coloration, the nature of their framing or even the form of certain liquid crystals for numbers to be displayed. Despite the great enlargement (some of the device displays are actually no more the a few centimeters large), due to the high capacity of the digital camera the Ilfochromes feature a tremendous resolution and focus. The fine structure of each of the screens becomes clearly evident in this condensed representation: enamel-like, deep opacity, asphalt-like rough grain or finely porous stippling, in which one imagines recognizing grid or wave patterns. Here, too, the microstructures of the depicting and depicted medium merge, yet in comparison with the "Sources", these superimpositions are far more interwoven, i.e. hardly to be separated. In many ways the screen is successor to the panel picture and its paradigmatic implications, for instance as a vehicle for mirror, window and projection metaphors (This legacy is formally evident in the standard of rectangularity, for instance, and in a certain canon of proportions. A significant deviation is found in a detail of the framing: the rounded corners that have become conventional for monitor casements for static reasons correlate with electronic pictorialness. They augment the impression of a closed shrine, in which the fleeting images flow past in a window (rather than persisting in the static tectonics of a sharp-cornered panel picture)).  As interface to another world, the screens condition the perception of the transported data, and the dominant (dominating) systems of politics, knowledge and signs of our control and consume society are manifested in them along with the omnipresent mass media.


From: Marie Röbl, „Sources“, „Screens“, „Exposures“.Günther Selichar's Media Analyses in the Medium of Photography, in: Martin Hochleitner (Ed.), Alexander  Horwath, Marc Ries, Dieter Ronte, Marie Röbl, Birgit Sonna: Günther Selichar. Third Eye. (Linz | Salzburg: Oö.Landesgalerie | Fotohof edition  37, 2004).